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Travel and Expenses – rules of operation (R011460)

Freedom of Information: Travel and Expenses – rules of operation (R011460)

Thank you for your e-mail of 9 October 2015 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) in which you seek the following information:

“I would like to make a Freedom of Information request for information contained in what rules of operation apply to how information is accumulated in your recording system for costs of travel & expenses generated by COPFS staff, and information contained in it’s operation - according to COPFS - where it “relies on account codes and does not support specific details of the nature of expenses recorded.”

COPFS Annual Report and Accounts from 2008/09 to 2014/15 can be found at the following link:

During the audit of the accounts, the external auditors examine transactions from the source of the expense through to payment.  This audit includes the checking of information held in the Finance and other systems as appropriate and any paperwork associated with the expenditure.  The rules COPFS are bound by for the recording of all accounts, including staff costs and travel expenses,  are set out in the SPFM (Scottish Public Finance Manual), the FReM (Government Financial Reporting Manual) and International Financial Reporting Standards.  As you will see in the published accounts, the auditors have provided COPFS with an unqualified report – please see pages 31 and 32 of the Annual Report and Accounts for 2014/15. 

There is no prescribed list of detail to be held in the finance system.  There is to be sufficient detail to compile the annual accounts and audit trails (via paperwork and appropriate authorisation of the expenditure) to back up the information in the Finance system.